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Radio Golf Paperback – Import, 19 June 2008
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&;The concluding work in one of the most ambitious dramatic projects ever undertaken . . . a play that could well be Mr. Wilson&;s most provocative.&;&;Ben Brantley, The New York Times
&;Radio Golf is a rich, carefully wrought human tapestry that is colorful, playful, thoughtful and compelling.&;&;Ed Kaufman, The Hollywood Reporter
Radio Golf is August Wilson&;s final play. Set in 1990 Pittsburgh, it is the conclusion of his Century Cycle&;Wilson&;s ten-play chronicle of the African American experience throughout the twentieth century&;and is the last play he completed before his death. With Radio Golf Wilson&;s lifework comes full circle as Aunt Ester&;s onetime home at 1839 Wylie Avenue (the setting of the cycle&;s first play) is slated for demolition to make way for a slick new real estate venture aimed to boost both the depressed Hill District and Harmond Wilks&; chance of becoming the city&;s first black mayor. A play in which history, memory, and legacy challenge notions of progress and country club ideals, Radio Golf has been produced throughout the country and will come to Broadway this season.
August Wilson&;s plays include Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner&;s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey&;s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. They have been produced at theaters across the country, on Broadway, and throughout the world.
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About the Author
- ASIN : 1559363088
- Publisher : Theatre Communications Group Inc.,U.S.; First Thus edition (19 June 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 120 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781559363082
- ISBN-13 : 978-1559363082
- Item Weight : 143 g
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 0.76 x 21.59 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #755,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The play is powerful for a number of reasons: unlike many of Wilson's plays, the plot only obliquely addresses race - the conflict here is one of social class rather than of race directly. It also raises the question of how much responsibility does a society have to its underprivlidged? It was the issue of gentrification that resonated most strongly with me, however. As the Hill District is redeveloped, the long-time African-American community would be forced out (a Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and Whole Foods would replace homes) replaced with business, homes and services catering to the upper-middle class (whites as well as African-Americans.) This is happening in my own city, and in cities around the country (5-Points in Denver, the Treme in New Orleans, the site of the old Cabrini Green in Chicago to name a few).
The injustice of the process of gentrification is what WIlson highlights; it is essentially a class-conflict. As one working-class character, Sterling, reminds Wilks, "The white mayor he be the mayor of white folks. Black folks can't get the streets cleaned. The schools don't have no textbooks. Don't have no football uniforms, The mayor be the mayor of white folks. ... What's wrong with being the mayor for black folks?" To which Wilks responds, "I'm going to be the mayor for everybody. Its not about being black or white, it's about being American." Later in the play Hicks tells Sterling, "It's not my fault if your daddy's in jail, your mama's on drugs, your little sister's pregnant and the kids don't have any food 'cause the welfare cut off the money. Roosevelt Hicks ain't holding nobody back. Roosevelt Hicks got money. Roosevelt Hicks got a job because Roosevelt Hicks wanted one. You ... kill me blaming somebody else for your troubles. Get up ... quit stealing ... quit using drugs ... go to school ... get a job ... pay your taxes. Oh, I see, you can't do that because Roosevelt Hicks is holding you back."
In the forward, August Wilson writes, "In the twenty-first century, we can go forward together. That was my idea behind the play." He has done this, and succeeded brilliantly in reminding us that all Americans have a fundamental responsibility to do right by each other. Such egalitarianism is at the heart of our shared national ideal. If you have a chance to see the play performed, do not miss it. Reading the play is an equally rewarding experience. My highest recommendations.